German Agents Among Airmen

The escape lines were faced with continuous efforts by German police to infiltrate them.  Someone who claimed to be an Allied airman might actually be a German agent.  He might be passed through the length of the line and then report back to his superiors the name of each person who helped him.  Arrests, imprisonment, and executions followed.  The leaders of the lines had to devise ways to identify and then dispose of the infiltrators.  One approach was to require airmen to complete questionnaires containing questions they should be able to answer.

Here are questions used by the Luctor et Emergo/Fiat Libertas line:

  1. How do you call the leave-form?
  2. How many parts are there on the leave-form?
  3. What do you write on the back of the leave-form?
  4. How do you call the charge-form?
  5. What means WAAF?
  6. Give two meanings for ATS.
  7. Is the Australian Air Force uniform exactly the same as the uniform of the English RAF?
  8. Who is Squadron Leader X?
  9. What is the cigarette ration in England?
  10. Who made the expression, “You lucky people?”
  11. Are the Houses of Parliament blacked out?
  12. What means ATW?
  13. What kind of wings wears a so-called pathfinder of the RAF?
  14. After how many weeks of operational flying did you go on leave?
  15. Write down the second part of the slogan, “Eat less bread….”
  16. What would you describe as security on an airfield?
  17. Are officers in the RAF allowed to have WAAF’s for house servant?
  18. Describe the badge of a glider pilot.
  19. What is the equivalent of the Army Tommy gun in the paratroop regiments?
  20. Where did you go on your leave?
  21. Why are flowers so expensive in London?
  22. What is the pay of an N.C.O. in the RAF?
  23. What means Piccadilly line, Inner Circle, Southern Railway?
  24. What railway station is nearest Grosvenor Hotel, London?
  25. If you know your way in London, where is Swan and Edgar?  Where is the Brasserie Universelle?

On the following pages are samples of questionnaires—with the airmen’s responses—from the files of SOMA-CEGES, the WWII archives in Brussels.  They were used by Service EVA, a Belgian Resistance group that specialized in taking care of the needs of arriving airmen in Brussels.  The first is that of Joseph L. Ashbrook, a bombardier on a B-17, who was shot down July 7, 1944.

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